Celtic midfielder Scott Brown has said he is fit enough to take his place in the team for Saturday’s Betfred Cup semi-final against Hibernian.
He told the Daily Record that his withdrawal in Wednesday night’s win over St Mirren due to a thigh problem was precautionary and he trained with the squad the following day.
The 34-year-old said: “I’m OK. It was a little bit of a precaution. I’m at the stage where I know my body so we made that sub before something bad ends up happening. I managed to train today [Thursday].” [via Daily Record]
The Celtic captain may be the oldest outfield player in Neil Lennon’s squad, but that hasn’t prevented him from being a near-constant presence in the team.
Indeed, after managing 69 minutes against St Mirren in midweek, he has now played 1,969 minutes in total this season, second only to Callum McGregor, who surpassed the 2,000-minute mark with a full game against the Buddies.
Having started every one of their Premiership and European games, Brown’s only rest this term has been in the Betfred Cup, having been left out of the squad for the win over Dunfermline and then getting a substitute appearance against Partick Thistle. [via TransferMarkt]
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Such has been his stamina to continue playing 90 minutes in almost every game that midfielder Nir Bitton has been mainly deployed at centre-back this season, while younger alternatives like Eboue Kouassi and Luca Connell have not been used by Lennon, the former yet to play since the cruciate ligament injury he sustained this time last year.
Brown is still turning in some effective performances at 34 years of age, too. In the Europa League this season, he has averaged three successful tackles, 2.7 interceptions, 55.3 passes and 1.3 shots per game along with a passing success rate of 81.9%, coming in the top five in Celtic’s squad for each of those metrics. [via WhoScored]
Brown remains an integral presence in this Celtic team and his astuteness in knowing when to come off against St Mirren to leave himself fresh for the Betfred Cup semi-final shows his sense and experience.
The skipper has been leading by example, judging by his performance metrics from the current campaign, and he looks set to be a hugely important player yet again this season as the Hoops prepare to take one step closer to a potential fourth domestic treble in a row this weekend.
Celtic fans, just how vital do you think Brown is to the team? Comment below with your views!
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